MOST 10-year-olds lack the capacity to offer a full rendering of their feelings and experiences regarding a week’s worth of completely new activities, surroundings, and people. And so it is difficult to determine where R.’s heart was with respect to the week of sleep-away camp from which we picked her up last weekend.
She was presented to us with frizzed-out hair, a body devoured by insects, an ear-to-ear smile, and crushing hugs. Yes, she had fun. The food was … okay. Rock climbing and zip-lining were awesome. She made some new friends. The nighttime thunderstorm that woke her up sent her scurrying to her counselor. She missed us terribly.
The question of questions, of course: Would you go again?
WHEN I was 23 or 24, I wrote the first chapter of what I intended to be my first novel, and to call it a piece of shit would be to insult all of the shit that has ever been published.
It was an angsty and lovelorn and overly earnest chapter about a guy not long out of college, who, sure as shootin’, looked and acted very much like his creator, an angsty and lovelorn and overly earnest guy not long out of college. Like virtually every young, first-time novelist, I was writing about myself and, like virtually every young, first-time novelist, I was doing a piss-poor job of it.
ON SUNDAY we packed up the girls in the Odyssey just after lunch and hit the road. Just under three hours later, we arrived at our destination, a rustic, wooded camp nestled on the west side of Rehoboth Bay. A very short 20 minutes of check-ins and goodbyes later, we were driving back, short a couple pieces of luggage and one very excited and somewhat apprehensive 10-year-old.